Hamburg Supervisor James M. Shaw, starting his second month in office, wants to:
- Wait, but not forever, for the Kaleta group to build a sports complex in the town.
- Secure financial help from New York State and Erie County to help run Woodlawn Beach State Park.
- Create a non-profit organization to combat the opioid crisis in the town.
- Meet with Village of Hamburg and Blasdell officials to talk about sharing services.
Shaw outlined his plans in his first state of the town address to the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce Thursday at Ilio DiPaolo's Restaurant.
Hamburg's Lake Erie shoreline sets it apart from other communities, with the state park, town park and boat launch, he said. Woodlawn Beach State Park will remain open, he declared, but he said deficits the town has experienced in operating it will be addressed.
"State and county financial assistance is critical to the ongoing operation of Woodlawn Beach, to the benefit of the entire Western New York community," Shaw said.
Future recreational needs also should consider the construction of a state of the art ice arena, indoor soccer and basketball court, as well as swimming and therapeutic facilities, he said. A deal with a Toronto developer fell through and the Kaleta Group has proposed building a facility at the former McKinley Park Inn.
Shaw outlined four choices: maintaining the status quo, relying on private development, a joint public-private venture or town financing of improvements to the existing Nike Base.
"For the time being, I propose to rely upon the Kaleta development group to move forward as promised, with the construction of their own multi-sportsplex facility," he said.
He said the town can assist the Kaleta Group, in securing grants, the Hamburg Industrial Development Agency may offer certain tax incentives.
The supervisor also proposed the Hamburg and Frontier school districts, the town and its two villages, Hamburg and Blasdell, fund, along with grants and donations, specially trained social workers and counselors to combat the opioid drug problem.
"We cannot let barriers to innovation and community caring hold us back in the face of this crisis," Shaw said.
Shaw also wants the boards of the town and two villages to meet next month with the public to discuss ways to share services and save money.
"Government can be streamlined, costs can be contained, and God-given assets may be preserved while they are being enjoyed," he said.